(urth) SRD on obscurity

pthwndxrclzp aquastor at gmail.com
Fri Jun 9 18:35:14 PDT 2006

My assessment had very little to do with my liking or disliking the
material. Whether you agree or not, I find his prose puerile, sloppy, and
overwritten. You needn't agree, but getting so bent over the absence of an
"I think" statement (which is actually implicit in almost anything anyone
writes, neurolinguistically speaking) seems equally childish to me.

As for the measure of Donaldson's respect as a writer, we'll just have to
agree to disagree. I'm sure you know lots of folks who think he's terrific,
just as all the readers I know find him an embarrassment to the genre.

And while I couldn't disagree more with your lack of appreciation for
Bujold, I certainly respect your right to the opinion.

I am curious about something. Is it your opinion that there exist no "bad
writers," only writers about whose work opinions vary? Or just that yes,
there are indeed bad writers, Donaldson (in your opinion) just not being one
of them? 'Cause it is starting to seem like you are holding the view that
there *are* no bad writers, just readers with insufficient appreciation, or
something of that ilk....

I stand by what I originally wrote, or certainly intended to write: *I*
THINK that Donaldson's "Lord Foul's Bane" is a literary  embarrassment.
While he may well have improved his skills thereafter, IN MY OPINION his
offenses were sufficient to guarantee that I would never waste my time with
his work. Might well be my loss. And I'll add that I've never gotten to that
point with any other writer in over 40 years of reading. I mean, I loathed
LOTR, but I did make my way through the whole thing. (I like the Hobbit,
though; go figure). FWIW.

On 6/9/06, Dan'l Danehy-Oakes <danldo at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 6/9/06, pthwndxrclzp <aquastor at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Ah, so let me get this straight. Anyone who disagrees
> >  with your opinions on literary quality is a child?
> No; but I do think that anyone who confuses "writer I
> don't like" with "egregiously untalented," or confuses
> their personal opinions with facts ("Donaldson's early
> prose is mind-numbingly unreadable" as opposed to
> "I find Donaldson's early prose mind-numbingly unreadable")
> has a bit of semantic maturing to do.
> Nonetheless, I should not have written my previous
> comment in such a blatantly insulting manner, and I
> apologize for that.
> > Your mileage may well vary, Grandpa.
> My mileage usually varies; I drive many different roads.
> And, while I could in theory be a grandfather (my
> elder child will be 24 this year), I'm not.
> > As for able fantasy stylists, I prefer the work of folks like
> > Gene Wolfe, C.S. Friedman, Mervyn Peake, John Myers
> > Myers, Jennifer Stevenson, John C. Wright, Lois McMaster
> > Bujold, even George R.R. Martin.
> I was with you part of the way -- of those in this list I've
> read, I find them better stylists than the early Donaldson
> (though even there, if you check out his non-Covenant
> short stories, collected in _Daughter of Regals_, you
> may be in for a bit of a shock). B ut when you get to
> Lois McMaster Bujold ... I have never successfully read
> a single book of hers, and I've tried several. This is my
> problem; I know she's a well-respected writer, and I
> know better than to confuse "bad writer" with "writer I
> don't like."
> But then, so is Donaldson a well-respected writer,
> except among people who apparently can't make
> that not-terribly-complex distinction.
> > But then, you probably like *Tolkien*.... <shudder>
> Indeed I do; and Lewis and Williams -- but for very
> different reasons (and only one of them as a stylist).
> --
> Dan'l Danehy-Oakes, writer, trainer, bon vivant
> -----
> http://www.livejournal.com/users/sturgeonslawyer
> "One o'th'flay-rods gone out o'skew on th'treadle."
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